By clicking on the link for "elmer fudd" you will see in "photos' a photo with text outlining the best way to clean a squirrel. Click on the photo to make it larger.
I was thinking about other tips while cleaning some squirrels this week. I have known people to give up squirrel hunting because they disliked cleaning them!
*Skinning is first, before opening up the abdomen.
*Skin the squirrel as shown. Note especially the tips that you don't want to put the squirrel tail under your toes but under mid-foot, and that it is easy to get confused and cut on the wrong part of the tail. You should be staring right at the anus of the squirrel or you are on the wrong side of the tail!
*While cutting through the tail, pull on it to open up the vertebra, or you may get frustrated and even cut yourself. If you persist, you will find a spot that will cut easily using this technique. The hide is tough so there is little danger you will cut through it at this point, and start the process here of getting the meat to separate from the hide with your knife and fingers.
*The next step calls for widening the hide the tail is attached to. It is critical to make this quite wide, or you may find it breaks off. You also want to encourage the hide to start splitting in the direction of the lower stomach. After pulling a bit I check to see if the hide is splitting high towards the ribs, if it is I use the knife to re-direct this splitting.
*Also at this step, working on the hind quarters, you try to do as little damage to the best meat of the squirrel as possible. This means it is not so much about speed.
*Don't take your foot off the tail till you get to the skin on the hind legs and pull that off too as the photo shows.
*You should be able to cut off the front paws easily. The back feet can be harder, I recommend forcing the foot to go in the direction it resists, breaking the ankle. Once this is broken a good knife will cut right through it.
*When cutting off the head, I cut all around the neck flesh, then just twist the head off.
*When removing the stomach and intestines, you aren't finished till you take your knife and cut through the little bone in the front of the hip girdle [the pubic bone]. You will find a little stretch of intestine often hiding a pellet or two of feces. You don't want to be cooking that.
If I think of anything else I'll post it in comments.